Obama Meltdown?

I had lunch with a friend who voted for Obama and said he would never vote for a Democratic again as long as he lived. I found myself in the incredibly weird posture of trying to argue that political parties can change out of all recognition over years and decades, so don’t make it some kind of blood-oath … .

But, no. He told me that I had Obama pegged in 2008, and that he had been chumped.

I had zero I-told-you-so feeling about any of this. I felt a little nauseous.

This Obama guy is simply not up to it, and we are all stuck with him.

Then I see that Obama’s press conference today was a debacle.

I am not cheered by any of this.

It looks like we will see little or nothing of value from the current President as we all endure two more years of domestic and global crisis. Mr. Obama appears to have exhausted his playbook. He is just randomly making stuff up at this point, tossing out grudging compromises, then vilifying the Republicans, and sniping at his own outraged supporters.

We are in one of the worst messes in our history, and Captain Queeg is on the bridge. Obama is not in full meltdown mode yet. Johnson melted down, Nixon melted down. It is not good when the president melts down.

Maybe Mr. Obama will shock me to my core by adapting, triangulating, taking ownership of the new situation, like Bill Clinton did.

I just don’t think he is up to it.

(Will some Democrat step up and give Obama a primary challenge? I do hope that happens, for everyone’s good, including Mr. Obama’s. Hillary looks genuinely tired. So, who?)

I suppose there is no prospect of this guy riding up:


… with the Theme from the Magnificent Seven playing in the background?


(Photo from this site.)

23 thoughts on “Obama Meltdown?”

  1. I don’t think it is so bad for a Democrat like Obama to have a meltdown. In fact, the entire Democrat party could meltdown and I’d be fine with it. That seems to be what it takes to get people to understand what rats they are. Then someone like Ronald Reagan will appeal to the voters, at least for a while. As soon as we rebuild, the people forget what happened and soon fall for the sleaze and put the weasels back in again.

    As soon as seven samurai drove the bandits away the farmers wanted them to leave, right?

    Of course, I should not excuse the Republicans. They have their own brand of bad but its more stupidity and political incompetence than guile.

  2. “Mr. Obama has mastered the ability to look both unprincipled and graceless at the same time.”

    “He Has Met the Enemy, and They Are Him” by Peter Wehner – 12.07.2010 – 3:57 PM

    On September 4, 2008, I wrote:

    Obama is an empty suit who has done absolutely nothing except work on his memoirs and run for office. He is a lawyer who never went to court. A law professor who never wrote an scholarly article. A state senator who voted present. A community organizer? Give me a break that is a meaningless title and job. Oh yes, a US senator, who spent his single term there running for higher office. I assume that if he loses, the next volume of his memoirs (working title: “Why Are Those People So Mean to Me”) will be out next year.


    At this point, I think a primary challenge is likely. I agree that Hillary looks tired. Furthermore, if she is going to do it, she needs to jump ship real soon now. I would be looking more to the left. Russ Finegold is not do anything else right now. Where is Howard Dean hanging his hat? It is within the realm of possibilities that a left challenger could beat BO in the New Hampshire primary, because New Hampshire has a small black vote, a lot of liberals from Boston, and the conservatives and independents will be taken up with the open Republican Primary that might have a very large number of candidates.

  3. This is what happens when you elect a guy who glided through life without ever once having to overcome a serious obstacle on his own. The Oval Office is a bad place to try to get your ass out of a crack for the first time.

    If Nixon or LBJ melted down personally ( as opposed to their administration self-destructing) it was a)very brief and b)came after working under about 10,000 x the pressure that Obama has faced for *years” on end without let-up. If you read a book on Watergate, Vietnam or Soviet-American relations you wonder how Nixon had time for anything else but that one problem. Afghanistan is a war but it is not Vietnam either in terms of blood or the country tearing itself apart.

    Obama is a president with a really bad economy and a very limited bag of tricks to rely upon.

  4. I don’t see Obama as quite like Queeg, whose behavior was driven largely by his feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure. I think he was more like the arrogant Lord Cardigan (of Light Brigade fame) as sketched by George Macdonald Fraser in his Flashman novels: “the spoiled child of fortune who knows with unshakeable certainty that he is right and that the world is exactly ordered for his satisfaction and pleasure.”

    If Obama leads us into another Great Depression or even if his policies result in a nuclear attack on an American city, his response will be much like that of Fraser’s Cardigan: “It was no fault of mine.”

  5. One of the Fox heads, maybe Krauthammer, said that Obama’s tax deal with the Congressional Republicans is like Bush Sr.’s “read my lips” tax deal with the Congressional Democrats. I don’t think that’s correct. Bush Sr. sunk his presidency by agreeing to go along with tax increases. Obama is more likely to salvage, or at least delay the implosion of, his presidency by going along with a deferral of tax increases. Bush Sr. made a bad choice. Obama had no choice other than political suicide. What’s notable is that for the first time Obama went with practical politics over ideology. That’s progress. But there’s no question but that he is a terribly weak leader and we remain in peril as long as he is in office.

  6. He went along with practical politics but then he sabotaged the deal by promising to fight the tax deal in two years. The stock market was in the midst of a rally when the press conference began and it tanked after the conference.

    Take a look.

    He has wrecked any stimulus for business by promising the rates are temporary. That was a really incompetent performance.

  7. I think he’s decided to fly into a blind canyon because the only alternative was to crash head-on into a cliff. In two years he’ll be running for reelection and it will be even more difficult to advocate raising taxes than it is now. He’ll also be on the defensive about his health-care scheme. So, whatever he says now, I doubt that he’ll be in a better position to do much about it in the future.

  8. Lex, for the love of God, edit your parenthetical.

    “…step up and convince Obama to resign.”

    “…and get Obama to promise not to run again.”

    “…and mount a primary challenge.”

    I know you meant one of those phrases, and the next sentence would make it clear to any rational reader. But sometimes irrational people read the internet, and brother, if you think you’re seeing meltdowns now, wait until somebody with a loose grasp on reality reads what you seem to suggest what some Democrat ought to do to Obama.

    [OK, done. Lex.]

  9. re: Riding up. Sadly, I don’t see this happening. I was gifted a copy of President Reagan’s diaries last year at Christmas and was shocked at how just be reading them brought back that feeling of ease and optimism that I felt during his first term. It was as if you could taste the country getting better, stronger, moving forward. He was simply a decent, honest man. Maybe I’m too jaded, but I don’t see how anyone comparable would be allowed to take the wheel in either party right now.

  10. I confess, I had the same thoughts as Bgates – that a poor reader might misinterpret your obvious reference to a primary challenger.

    I watched bits of the press conference on Rachel Maddow. The president sounded so aggrieved! His tone did seem unpresidential but I understand his frustration with his base – they are unconnected to reality. Interestingly, he doesn’t seem to understand that triangulation is about taking hits from your far left base so that you can strengthen yourself in the eyes of moderates in your party and independents.

    I’m worried. He’s floundering. I worry about foreign policy the most. Thanks to the Tea Party, problematic domestic policy can begun to be rolled back.

    Man, was Maddow going after him from the left. It was brutal.

    – Madhu

  11. Lex,
    I had the same experience recently when an old friend was in town. Without prompt he states that “You know, if you look at their background, Palin is no different that Obama and I don’t really see a big problem with her as president if it came to that.” This from a leftish environmental lawyer who works in DC. When I tried to play Devil’s Advocate and pointed out that Palin quit her governor’s position mid-term, he responded that he thought here explanations for doing so (in a NYT interview) were sound. This from a guy who told me after the election in 2004, “Go Obama in four years.”

    Maybe Democrats will get over it a bit, but I agree, we’re stuck with this guy for two more years and fwiw, he’s still the President and we need competence out of him in several arenas, even if he becomes essentially a caretaker. I fear how well he will do now that, for the first time in his life, he’s not surrounded by acclaim. Sounding like a kid who’s threatening to take his ball and go home makes me fear that he’ll start acting like it.

  12. I have a certain amount of sympathy for President Obama.

    President Obama has been told how wonderful and smart he is all of his life, without having to actually show his work.

    Without an actual foundation of experience to start from, of course President Obama is flailing and failing.

    Both academics and the press are responsible for allowing someone so completely unqualified to become president.

    The press completely abrogated their responsibility and the professors acquainted with Obama’s academic achievements, or lack thereof, kept silent.

    Couple that with GOP fecklessness and you get a recipe for disaster that we’re headed for.

    I’ve long thought that at some point, President Obama will have a complete mental/nervous breakdown.

    I pray daily this doesn’t happen and our Republic survives this self-inflicted wound.

  13. “Maybe I’m too jaded, but I don’t see how anyone comparable would be allowed to take the wheel in either party right now.”

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t possibly agree more. I have zero faith in the honesty, integrity or competence of either political party’s apparatchiks. The Tea Party movement – and widespread voter outrage – is the one ray of hope I have that the USA is not about to drive itself right off a cliff. I think I am even more jaded than you WRT expecting anything of substance, as opposed to PR style smoke-and-mirrors legislation, from either party.

    The senior members of both parties are in it for two things: Power and Self Enrichment. You and I, and the whole of the United States, can go to hell if we or anything else gets in the way of their quest for those things.

  14. Among the wrongest of wrong phrases one can form in the English language is “…but this time, it’s different.”
    That said: I think a few things are a bit different on the political landscape that might—-juuuuusssst might–enable us as a nation and, more narrowly as conservatives, to come out in better shape come January 2013.

    This Internet Web thingy? It’s pretty powerful. Look, I don’t know anyone on this site, nor vice versa: Lex could be in Omaha and David Foster in China, for all I know—and yet, the commenters and anyone else that cares to give a look can convey their individual thoughts, and experiences with disillusioned Obamanistas, and allow a broader audience to see what’s actually happening down here, among us little people that happen to determine elections.
    Sharpton, and the FCC mandarins and sundry others who are used to using the mainstream media like a broken-down crack whore are railing at Fox, Limbaugh, Palin, and all of a sudden discovering ‘fairness’ and ‘balance’—really? It is in fact balance and fairness that so offends them—and is so very obvious to more and more people.

    We all have an enormous data-generating device sitting in our laps (I mean computers, so minds out of the gutter, please). Yes, many or most of us use them to buttress our established opinions—I, for one read RedState and HotAir but couldn’t tell you what Daily Kos looks like if you held a gun to my head. That said, a much better image of the greater political reality forms in our minds by incorporating all of these multitudinous threads of information. And at last, those of us whose mindsets just didn’t quite fit with what we heard from Dan Rather and saw in the LA and NY TImes, find that we weren’t completely wrong after all. The political emperors have no clothes: and now, we can all share that revelation among each other.

    The key element in bringing prosperity back to our country, and a fragment of responsiveness and ethics back to government is to ensure that we as informed citizens shine a spotlight on political malefactors faster than they can figure out how to manipulate the message and public opinion via MSM and the Internet. A tall order, but it fortunately falls not on the backs of a few individuals or a single organization, but innumerable individual participants. Just like this site. Information is a bright light, and daylight is the best disinfectant.
    Keep disinfecting, everyone. It’ll slowly drive Obama and his ilk to distraction and, one hopes, into retirement.

  15. “It’ll slowly drive Obama…, one hopes, into retirement.”

    My apologies for Dowdifying this quote, but I did so solely to note that Obama will haunt us for a good 30-40 more years. You think Jimmy Carter has been a hectoring noodge in his post-presidential career? Hell, if Carter can hang on a few more years, he and ex-President Obama can sit together like malevolent Statler & Waldorfs (the old coot hecklers on “The Muppet Show”), criticizing every aspect of American politics, life and values.

    (Besides, and I’m certainly not the first to think this, but Obama’s got to be thinking that his next step is Secretary-General of the U.N.)

  16. Excellent point.
    Fascinating how Republican presidents (good ones and bad) gracefully enter postpresidential retirement and keep their own counsel, while Democrats feel the urgent need to grace the world with their irreplaceable Monday morning quarterbackery. Nixon/Ford/Reagan/Bush/Bush versus Carter/Clinton: anyone notice a difference?

    The only benefit to a turned-out, postpresidential Obama is that he will remain his own effigy: doomed to his own certitude and patronizing tone, which will be eternally contrasted with his uselessness as a leader.

    You go, O: stay classy.

  17. The presser yesterday, and his remarks today, reveal to the left that Obama is what many suspected in 08—an empty suit; devoid of a core. I heard excerpts of a stump speech he gave when he railed on McCain about the Bush tax policy—saying something to the affect that they made him (Obama) ill…from the sound of his speech today, he has seen the light of the connection between lower taxes and economic growth.

    The more I see of Obama, the more I find credible the remark I heard when he selected Biden as his running mate—I heard in a bar, I believe—but the guy said Obama picked Biden as “insurance” against mischief….I laughed at the time, but can anyone remember two more hapless/clueless and patronizing pols? They were made for each other…and others have pointed out, they won’t go away when thrown from office.

    I would not be surprised if Hillary resigns after the first of the year (the wiki leaks would be good cover) and challenges him from the left. (She is probably the only national democrat who could get away with it.) She predicted that Obama was out of his league, and she was right.

  18. Sad for America that it has come to this. The job Obama has would have been difficult for any politician, but for someone who has to experiment so ineffectively the tasks are overwhelming. He is unable to do much more than order the printing of money. And both parties seem content to give him the go ahead to do it.

  19. Oh, he doubled down today when he invited Clinton the former president to the WH briefing room to sell his deal with the GOP—Obama is officially desperate.

  20. It is amazing how many people still do not recognize or accept that Obama is hopelessly out of his depth. I have often wondered what, if anything, he would have to do to lose the support of some of my acquaintances who were so enthusiastic about his election. If trillion dollar deficits and 9.8% unemployment two years later, accomplished with huge Democrats majorities in congress, do not alter their support, what would?

Comments are closed.